MARY WARD LORETO is planting hope with a human rights approach to combating modern day slavery. This challenging mission is implemented through works of justice, education, grass roots action and systemic change.
The aim is to eradicate poverty, the prime cause for human trafficking.

 

Health training in Libofshe.

 

The lack of information and support in health care is one of the biggest concerns in rural areas not just in Albania but all over the world.  Under the mission of Mary Ward Loreto, a health care training to improve the health information of women, took place in May in Libofshe by MWLW Fier, in collaboration with the Administrative Unit of Libofshe. The subject of the training was hypertension, one of the main health problems faced by the people of this area. The training was led by Suela Spaho the health trainer for the women in Libofshe.

Understanding what hypertension is, prevention, factors, consequences of hypertension, healthy diet and treatment of hypertension, were the main topics of this training. Individual health problems and experiences were shared by the women, showing their interest in and knowledge about health care. During the training, questions were raised which aroused interesting further discussion..

BMI calculation and checking of blood pressure were provided for all of the women participants. The trainer and the women were paying attention to their health problems and taking notes.


The development of MWL Women Project in Fier,

“Life through the pages of a book” are the meetings which are taking place with young girls and a teacher every week at the Mary Ward Loreto Center in Fier. During these meetings the young girls and those who will take the high school graduation are getting support for the exams by the teacher by analyzing and discussing the topic according to their social and literary point of view. They also choose the books which they read and share their opinions together. The comments and questions shared have made these meetings interesting and sometimes very amusing.  These young girls have the potential to change their future and others through these means of socio-economic empowerment. They feel exited and are eager to come to these meetings and are satisfied for the support they are getting for their final exams. They enjoy this time they spent at the Mary Ward Loreto Women’s Center.


MWL Fier in cooperation with the Peace Corps Fier volunteer, organized three days of a summer camp with young girls.

MWL Fier in cooperation with the Peace Corps Fier volunteer, organized three days of a summer camp with young girls. Topics covered in this camp were: the Fight against Human Trafficking, Leadership and Communication Skills as well as mental health, stress and depression. These were particularly related to young people. During these activities, the girls also engaged in various energizing games or in cooking delicious biscuits. The girls had 3 days of intensive interaction with each other. This activity made it possible to discover most valuable information about them through these socializing activities. They expressed the desire to have more similar activities especially during the summer vacation period. 12 young girls participated in this summer camp.
 

Living conditions of Fier’s women.

The women in rural and suburban areas of Fier live in difficult economic conditions. The brutal, patriarchal society does not offer support and dignity for women. Many of these women suffer abuse and domestic violence from their husbands. Several cases of domestic abuse have come to the MWL office in Fier. From a conversation with the  social worker in the town of Patos, which is about 10 km outside Fier, the small town has a huge number of women who are abused physically and psychologically. Two of these cases were referred to our office. They have received psychological support and one of them is taking the tailoring course at our office. The conversation with the Ombudsman’s representative, remains problematic. Implementation of the order of protection for women saying No to this violence and who become divorced does not get the cases resolved. They often have nowhere to shelter. The Social Service Office of Violence Against Women in the district of Fier solicited the assistance of MWL to find shelter for a young girl with two children who was fleeing domestic violence. The Advice Center in Tirana found temporary shelter in the city of Shkodra for this girl and her children.

Let’s take the case of Liza from Levan. Her husband is mentally and physically unable to work or take care of the family. As a result, she has been the single head of her household since very early in her life. She has 2 minor children and does agriculture work to help raise them. This hard work has weakened her health. Liza has been active with the MWL’s women group for several months participating in social activities and human development activities. She has felt very good and comfortable with other women, and for the first time she has been able to think of herself. Now she has some real estate problems with her father in law, who has not supported her at all. She and her children feel threatened by him. MWL has referred the case to the Office of Child Protection and Domestic Abuse in Fier. This office is following her case and she has an order of protection from her father in law. MWL is also following her case and providing emotional and psychological support.


Promotion and sales in Fier

During May, women took part at different fairs to sell their handmade products at the  Archaeological Park of Apollonia, and Darzeze Municipality.  Apart from the economic benefit, fair events are the greatest teacher to the women in marketing skills. The women gained communication skills, and a knowledge of customer’s needs. Many contacts and clients have been established during this period of time. Another lesson for them was to assess the requirements of customers and to orientate their work in to improving the quality of the products.


Planting hope

For the last 3 months Jaru village, is suffering from drought without any rain. A woman recently told me: “This place is cursed.” It was the first time I had heard this attitude from a woman. During the following days I heard this more than 2-3 times. It was when I heard it a fourth time that I thought: Is it such? Jaru is a small village only 10 km from the city of Fier, one of the representatives of  the biggest centers of the south and only 15km from Vlora, a coastal city and the largest in southern Albania. What leads women to think these things in such a small village? Does the fact that in these three months nature is not generous and leaves them suffering? Why do women not think like they did 20 years ago when they raised their hopes to build a better life by migrating from remote areas in the north of Albania to come to Jaru. Continue Reading…

 Woman’s Right in Albania for Justice, Freedom and to Speak Her Truth!